Friday, January 8, 8365

Austria - Herman Salzburg (1365-1396) - Horns

It appears likely that Herman, Monk of Salzburg [Austria] (1365-1396) (Minnesinger) was in contact with the brilliant and hedonistic court of Archbishop Pilgrim of

Salzburg (d. 1396), as one of his songs is a versified love-letter to the most beautiful of the Archbishop's ladies.


Austria (German: Österreich) (Österreich (help·info)), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich) (Republik Österreich (help·info)), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It borders both Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The capital is the city of Vienna on the Danube River.

The origins of modern Austria date back to the ninth century, when the territory of Upper and Lower Austria became increasingly populated. The name "Ostarrichi" is first documented in an official document from 996. Since then this word has developed into the Österreich

The German name Österreich is derived from Old German Ostarrîchi "Eastern Territory."

The name was Latinized as "Austria," thus it has no direct etymological connection with the name of Australia, which derives from Latin Australis meaning The South (however, both words ultimately derive from Proto-Indo-European *aust- "dawn"). Reich can also mean "empire," and this connotation is the one that is understood in the context of the Austrian/Austro-Hungarian Empire, Holy Roman Empire, although not in the context of the modern Republic of Österreich. The term probably originates in a vernacular translation of the Medieval Latin name for the region: Marchia orientalis, which translates as "eastern marches" or "eastern borderland", as it was situated at the eastern edge of the Holy Roman Empire, that was also mirrored in the name Ostmark, for a short period applied after the Anschluss to Germany.

Settled in prehistoric times, the central European land that is now Austria was occupied in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. After the fall of the Roman Empire, of which most of Austria was part (all parts south of the Danube), the area was invaded by Bavarians, Slavs and Avars.

Charlemagne conquered the area in 788 and encouraged colonization and Christianity.[

As part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976.

The first record showing the name Austria is from 996 where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March.

The term Ostmark is not historically ascertained and appears to be a translation of marchia orientalis that came up only much later.

The following centuries were characterized by the settlement of the country. In 1156 the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs also acquired the Duchy of Styria.

With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergers went extinct.

Otakar II of Bohemia effectively controlled the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carinthia after that.

His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hand of Rudolf I of Germany in 1278.

Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was largely that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, from then on, every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception.

The Habsburgs began also to accumulate lands far from the Hereditary Lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Low Countries for the family.

His son Philip the Fair married the heiress of Castile and Aragon, and thus acquired Spain and its Italian, African, and New World appendages for the Habsburgs.


[The Matterhorn, in the Alps, on the border of Italy and Switzerland]

Herman's secular music shows a fusion of the styles of the later Minnesingers and of Alpine folksong. Most of his songs are monophonic, with a few polyphonic forays.

Three of these latter are marked "gut zu blasen" ("good for blowing'", which suggests the use of wind instruments, and the lower part (restricted to two notes) of Der Nachthorn is marked "der Pumhart"(Bombard?).

His forty or so German sacred songs are mainly settings of translations of psalms and sequences; his music continued to be popular into the sixteenth century, and is found in such sources as the Locheimer Liederbuch and Conrad Paumann's tablatures.

Fanfare "Untarn slaf tut den sumer wol" (Clarion / Post Horn)

The post horn (also posthorn, post-horn, or coach horn) is a valveless cylindrical brass or copper instrument with cupped mouthpiece, used to signal the arrival or departure of a post rider or mail coach. It was used especially by postilions of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The instrument commonly had a circular or coiled shape with three turns of the tubing, though sometimes it was straight. It is therefore an example of a natural horn. The cornet was developed from the post horn by adding valves.

Mozart, Mahler, and others incorporated the instrument into their orchestras for certain pieces. On such occasions, the orchestra's horn player usually plays the instrument. One example of post horn use in modern classical music is the famous off-stage solo in Mahler's Third Symphony. Due to the scarcity of this instrument, however, music written for it is usually played on a trumpet or flugelhorn.

The instrument is still used as the logo of national post services in many countries.


The natural horn is is a musical instrument that is the ancestor of the modern-day horn, and is differentiated by its lack of valves. It consists of a mouthpiece, some long coiled tubing, and a large flared bell. Pitch changes are made through a few different techniques:

Modulating the lip tension as done with modern brass instruments. This allows for notes in the harmonic series to be played.

Changing the length of the instrument by switching the crooks. This is a rather slow process. Before the advent of the modern valved horn many ideas were attempted to speed up the process of changing the key of the instrument.

Changing the position of the hand in the bell; this is called hand-stopping.

This instrument was used extensively until the emergence of the valved horn in the early 19th century.

The natural horn has several gaps in its harmonic range. In order to play chromatically, in addition to crooking the instrument into the right key, two additional techniques are required: bending and hand-stopping. Bending a note is achieved by modifying the embouchure to raise or lower the pitch fractionally, and compensates for the slightly out of pitch "wolf tones" which all brass instruments have. Hand-stopping is a technique whereby the player can modify the pitch of a note by up to a semitone (or sometimes slightly more) by inserting a cupped hand into the bell. Both change the timbre as well as the pitch.


Das Nachthorn (Cornett and Triangle)

The cornett, cornetto or zink is an early brass instrument, dating from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. It was used in what are now called alta capellas or wind ensembles. It is not to be confused with the trumpet-like instrument cornet.

To avoid confusion between this instrument and the more modern cornet (with one t), the cornett is often called by its Italian name, cornetto or cornetto curvo (to distinguish it from the straight cornett). Occasionally it is called by its German name, which is zink or krumme Zink (curved spike). The instrument was known as the "cornet à bouquin" in France and the "corneta" in Spain.

The cornett takes the form of a tube, typically about 60 cm. long, made of ivory, wood, or, in the case of some modern reconstructions of historical instruments, ebony resin, with woodwind-style fingerholes. Usually the cornett is octagonal in cross-section, and it is wrapped in leather or parchment, with the fingerholes penetrating this cover. The cornett is slightly curved, normally to the right, so that the player's left hand, playing the upper holes, and the player's right hand, playing the lower holes, can more comfortably reach their proper locations. At the top of the cornett there is a small mouthpiece of the kind used in brass instruments; that is, the lips vibrate to produce sound.

The cornett is thus an unusual specimen among wind instruments, with a body constructed like a woodwind but its mouthpiece (and thus mechanism of tone production) being that of a brass instrument. Scholars evidently agree that the latter criterion is more important, and so the cornett should be counted as brass. In particular, the Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical instrument classification places it alongside instruments such as the trumpet.

Modern cornett players tend to use a smaller mouthpiece, whereas those needing to make a compromise -- often with the need to go on playing modern brass instruments -- may use a much larger mouthpiece, sometimes a trumpet mouthpiece turned down on a lathe so that only the cup and a minimal stub which fits the cornett's mouthpiece receiver are left. The larger mouthpiece gives a less incisive tone with less "edge" to the sound.

Historically, the cornett was frequently used in consort with sackbuts (2 cornetts, 3 sackbuts), often to double a church choir. This was particularly popular in Venetian churches such as the Basilica San Marco, where extensive instrumental accompaniment was encouraged, particularly in use with antiphonal choirs. Giovanni Bassano was an example of a virtuoso early player of the cornett, and Giovanni Gabrieli wrote much of his resplendent polychoral music with him in mind. Heinrich Schütz also used the instrument extensively, especially in his earlier work; he had studied in Venice with Gabrieli and was acquainted with Bassano's playing.

The cornett was, like almost all Renaissance and Baroque instruments, made in a complete family; the different sizes being the high cornettino, the cornett (or curved cornett), the tenor cornett (or lizard) and the rare bass cornett (the serpent was preferred to the bass cornett).

Other versions include the mute cornett, which is a straight narrow-bore instrument with integrated mouthpiece, quiet enough to be used in a consort of viols or even recorders.
The cornett was also used as a virtuoso solo instrument, and a relatively large amount of solo music for the cornetto (and/or violin) survives. The use of the instrument had declined by 1700, although the instrument was still common in Europe until the late 18th century. Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and their German contemporaries used both the cornett and cornettino in cantatas to play in unison with the soprano voices of the choir. Occasionally, these composers allocated a solo part to the cornetto (see Bach's cantata BWV 118). Alessandro Scarlatti used the cornetto or pairs of cornetti in a number of his operas. Johann Joseph Fux used a pair of mute cornetts in a Requiem. It was last scored for by Gluck, in his opera Orfeo ed Euridice (he suggested the soprano trombone as an alternative).

The cornett is generally agreed to be a difficult instrument to play -- it requires a lot of practice. It embodies a design that survives in no modern instrument; that is, the main tube has only the length of a typical woodwind, but the mouthpiece is of the brass type, relying on a combination of the player's lips and the alteration of the length of the sound column via the opening and closing of the finger holes to alter the pitch of the musical sound. Most modern brass instruments are considerably longer than the cornett, which permits the use of harmonics, the sound being altered by slides or valves to control the pitch.

The Baroque era was relatively tolerant of bright or extroverted tonal quality, as the surviving organs of the time attest. Thus the Baroque theorist Marin Mersenne described the sound of the cornett as "a ray of sunshine piercing the shadows." Yet there is also evidence that the cornett was sometimes badly played, although it also seems to have been played much more expertly than any other woodwind instrument. Its upper register sounded somewhat like a trumpet or modern cornet, the lower register resembling the sackbutts that often accompanied it, whereas the middle register gave an indistinct wailing sound that was not attractive when played in isolation. Cornett intonation also tended to be fluid, which enabled it to be played perfectly in tune in a range of tonalities and temperaments.

As a result of its design, the cornett requires a specialized embouchure which is, initially, very tiring to play for any length of time. Cornetts were often replaced by violins in consort music and cornetts could be similarly used as a substitutes for violins in consort music and sacred music. The cornett and the violin were considered interchangeable; and a good cornettist doubled between either cornetti and trumpets or cornetti and recorders.

Cornetts were used to reinforce the human voice in choirs, and many commentators suggested that the sound of a well played cornett, heard at a distance, could be mistaken for a "choice castrato". The place of the cornett was never really filled by any other instrument and it wasn't until the second half of the 20th century that the cornett revival gave music lovers a chance to hear the sound of this instrument again in its proper context.

As a result of the recent early music renaissance, the cornett has been rediscovered, and as before attracts the finest players. In many pieces (particularly those of early to mid Baroque composers such as Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Gabrieli, Francesco Cavalli, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Giovanni Battista Riccio, Dario Castello, Antonio Bertali, Pavel Josef Vejvanovský, Jan Křtitel Tolar, Michael Praetorius, Johann Hermann Schein, Samuel Scheidt, Sebastian Knüpfer, Johann Schelle, Johann Andreas Pachelbel, Giovanni Felice Sances, Johann Joseph Fux, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Andreas Hofer, Alessandro Stradella, Matthew Locke, John Adson and Heinrich Schütz) the cornett is indispensable in performance, and the music suffers if other instruments substitute for them. The violin was the usual substitute for the cornetto in historical music. The recorder, modern B-flat trumpet, oboe, and soprano saxophone have all been used as substitutes for the cornetto in modern performances.


The triangle is an idiophone type of musical instrument in the percussion family. It is a bar of metal, usually steel in modern instruments, bent into a triangle shape.

On a triangle instrument, one of the angles is left open, with the ends of the bar not quite touching. This causes the instrument to be of indeterminate or not settled or decided pitch. It is either suspended from one of the other corners by a piece of thin wire or gut, leaving it free to vibrate, or hooked over the hand. It is usually struck with a metal beater, giving a high-pitched, ringing tone.

Although the shape is nowadays generally in the form of an equilateral triangle, early instruments were often formed as isosceles triangles. Some triangles have jingling rings along the lower side.

The exact origins of the triangle instrument are unknown, but a number of paintings from the Middle Ages depict the instrument being played by angels, which has led to the belief that it played some part in church services at that time. Other paintings show it being used in folk bands.

After medieval times, the triangle has been used in the western classical orchestra since around the middle of the 18th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven all used it, though sparingly, usually in imitation of Turkish Janissary bands. The first piece to make the triangle really prominent was Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1, where it is used as a solo instrument in the second movement, giving this concerto the nickname of "triangle concerto."

In the 19th century, the triangle was used in some music by Richard Wagner, such as the "Bridal chorus" from Lohengrin.

When ignoring pitch modulation and damping, the triangle appears to require no specialist ability to play and is often used in jokes and one liners as an archetypal instrument that requires no skill to play. However, triangle parts in classical music can be very demanding, and James Blades in The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians writes that "the triangle is by no means a simple instrument to play." In the hands of an expert it can be a surprisingly subtle and expressive instrument.

Most difficulties in playing the triangle come from the complex rhythms which are sometimes written for it, although it can also be quite difficult to control the level of volume. Very quiet notes can be obtained by using a much lighter beater -- knitting needles are sometimes used for the quietest notes. Composers sometimes call for a wooden beater to be used instead of a metal one, which gives a rather "duller" and quieter tone.

A notable player of the triangle is John Deacon of the rock group Queen. He would play the triangle in live performances of Killer Queen, hanging it from his microphone.

The percussionist with the Foo Fighters was given a 20 second Triangle solo in front of 85,000 people each night when the band played Wembley Stadium on the 6th & 7th of June 2008.


Der Trumpet (Cornett, Slide Trumpet, Alto Shawm, Tabor)

Hornbostel-Sachs (or Sachs-Hornbostel) is a system of musical instrument classification devised by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs, and first published in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie in 1914. An English translation was published in the Galpin Society Journal in 1961. It is the most widely used system for classifying musical instruments by ethnomusicologists and organologists (people who study musical instruments).

The system is based on one devised in the late 19th century by Victor-Charles Mahillon, the curator of Brussels Conservatory's musical instrument collection. Mahillon's system was one of the first to classify according to what vibrated in the instrument to produce its sound, but was limited, for the most part, to western instruments used in classical music. The Sachs-Hornbostel system is an expansion on Mahillon's in that it is possible to classify any instrument from any culture with it.

Formally, Hornbostel-Sachs is based on the Dewey Decimal classification. It has four top level classifications, with several levels below those, adding up to over 300 basic categories in all. The top two levels of the scheme, with explanations, are shown below:

1. Idiophones - sound is primarily produced by the actual body of the instrument vibrating, rather than a string, membrane, or column of air. In essence, this group includes all percussion instruments apart from drums, as well as some other instruments.

11. Struck idiophones - idiophones set in vibration by being struck, for example cymbals or xylophones.

111 = directly;

1112 = percussion idiophones (struck-upon)

11124 = percussion vessels

111242 = bells

1112422 sets of bells

11124222 sets of hanging bells

11124222 sets of hanging bells with internal strikers. Typically decimal points are inserted as follows: 111.242.222

112 = indirectly.

12. Plucked idiophones (lamellophones) - idiophones set in vibration by being plucked, for example the Jew's harp or thumb piano.

121 = in frame;

122 = in board or comb form.

13. Friction idiophones - idiophones which are rubbed, for example the nail violin, a bowed instrument with solid pieces of metal or wood rather than strings.

131 = with sticks;

132 = with plaques;

133 = with vessels.

14. Blown idiophones - idiophones set in vibration by the movement of air, for example the Aeolsklavier, an instrument consisting of several pieces of wood which vibrate when air is blown onto them by a set of bellows.

141 = with sticks;

142 = with plaques.

2. Membranophones - sound is primarily produced by the vibration of a tightly stretched membrane. This group includes all drums and kazoos.

21. Struck drums - instruments which have a struck membrane. This includes most types of drum, such as the timpani and snare drum.

22. Plucked drums - these are drums with a knotted string attached to the membrane. When the string is plucked, it passes the vibration on to the membrane, which vibrates to give the sound. Some kinds of Indian drums are like this. Some commentators believe that instruments in this class ought instead to be regarded as chordophones (see below).

23. Friction drums - drums which are rubbed, either with the hand, a stick, or something else, rather than being struck.

24. Singing membranes - this group includes kazoos, instruments which do not produce noise of their own, but modify other noises by way of a vibrating membrane.

3. Chordophones - sound is primarily produced by the vibration of a string or strings. This group includes all instruments generally called string instruments in the west, as well as many (but not all) keyboard instruments, such as pianos and harpsichords.

31. Simple chordophones - instruments which are in essence simply a string or strings and a string bearer. These instruments may have a resonator box, but removing it should not render the instrument unplayable (although it may result in quite a different sound being produced). They include the piano therefore, as well as other kinds of zithers such as the koto, and musical bows.

32. Composite chordophones - acoustic and electro-acoustic instruments which have a resonator as an integral part of the instrument, and solid-body electric chordophones. This includes most western string instruments, including lutes such as violins and guitars, and harps.

4. Aerophones - sound is primarily produced by vibrating air. The instrument itself does not vibrate, and there are no vibrating strings or membranes.

41. Free aerophones - instruments where the vibrating air is not enclosed by the instrument itself, for example sirens, or the bullroarer.

42. Wind instruments - instruments where the vibrating air is enclosed by the instrument. This group includes most of the instruments called wind instruments in the west, such as the flute or French horn, as well as many other kinds of instruments such as conch shells.

5. Electrophones -

51. Instruments having electric action (e.g. pipe organ with electrically controlled solenoid air valves);

52. Instruments having electrical amplification, such as the Neo-Bechstein piano of 1931, which had 18 microphones built into it;

53. Radioelectric instruments: instruments in which sound is produced by electrical means.
The fifth top-level group, electrophones category was added by Sachs in 1940, to describe instruments involving electricity. Sachs broke down his 5th category into 3 subcategories:

51=electrically actuated acoustic instruments; 52=electrically amplified acoustic instruments;

53= instruments in which make sound primarily by way of electrically driven oscillators, such as theremins or synthesizers, which he called radioelectric instruments.

Francis William Galpin provided such a group in his own classification system, which is closer to Mahillon than Sachs-Hornbostel. For example, in Galpin's 1937 book A Textbook of European Musical Instruments, he lists electrophones with three second-level divisions for sound generation ("by oscillation," "electro-magnetic," and "electro-static"), as well as third-level and fourth-level categories based on the control method. Sachs himself proposed subcategories 51, 52, and 53, on pages 447-467 of his 1940 book The History of Musical Instruments. However, the original 1914 version of the system did not acknowledge the existence of his 5th category.

Present-day ethnomusicologists, such as Margaret Kartomi (page 173), and Ellingson (PhD dissertation, 1979, p. 544) suggest that, in keeping with the spirit of the original Hornbostel Sachs classification scheme, of categorization by what first produces the initial sound in the instrument, that only subcategory 53 should remain in the electrophones category. Thus it has been more recently proposed that, for example, the pipe organ (even if it uses electric key action to control solenoid valves) remain in the aerophones category, and that the electric guitar remain in the chordophones category, etc..

Beyond these top two groups are several further levels of classification, so that the xylophone, for example, is in the group labelled 111.212 (periods are usually added after every third digit to make long numbers easier to read). A long classification number does not necessarily indicate the instrument is a complicated one. The bugle for instance, has the classification number 423.121.22, even though it is generally regarded as a relatively simple instrument (it is basically a bent conical tube which you blow down like a trumpet, but it does not have valves or finger-holes). The numbers in the bugle's classification indicate the following:

4 - an aerophone

42 - the vibrating air is enclosed within the instrument

423 - the player's lips cause the air to vibrate directly (as opposed to an instrument with a reed like a clarinet, or an edge-blown instrument, like a flute)

423.1 - the player's lips are the only means of changing the instrument's pitch (that is, there are no valves as on a trumpet)

423.12 - the instrument is tubular, rather than being a conch-type instrument

423.121 - the player blows into the end of the tube, as opposed to the side of the tube

423.121.2 - the tube is bent or folded, as opposed to straight

423.121.22 - the instrument has a mouthpiece

423.121.22 does not uniquely identify the bugle, but rather identifies the bugle as a certain kind of instrument which has much in common with other instruments in the same class. Another instrument classified as 423.121.22 is the bronze lur, an instrument dating back to the Bronze Age.

After the number described above, a number of suffixes may be appended. An 8 indicates that the instrument has a keyboard attached, while a 9 indicates the instrument is mechanically driven. In addition to these, there are a number of suffixes unique to each of the top-level groups indicating details not considered crucial to the fundamental nature of the instrument. In the membranophone class, for instance, suffixes can indicate whether the skin of a drum is glued, nailed or tied to its body; in the chordophone class, suffixes can indicate whether the strings are plucked with fingers or plectrum, or played with a bow.

There are ways to classify instruments with this system even if they have elements from more than one group. Such instruments may have particularly long classification numbers with colons and hyphens used as well as numbers. Hornbostel and Sachs themselves cite the case of a set of bagpipes where some of the pipes are single reed (like a clarinet) and others are double reed (like the oboe). A number of similar composite instruments exist.

[8365 Herman, Monk of Salzburg]